China didn't 'stall' key COVID information at outbreak's start: report



FAIR, a New York-based media watch group, concluded that China didn't stall critical COVID-19 information at the beginning of the outbreak by analyzing U.S. media outlets' narrative and even Chinese media Caixin, on China's release of COVID-19 information.

Noting that AP promoted the narrative of China covering up the severity of the pandemic in its initial stages and delaying the release of crucial information with particular intensity, FAIR listed the media's reports and used news for other outlets that were proved to debunk AP.

In one piece, AP said China delayed the release of the virus's genetic map or genome for more than a week since Chinese virologist Zhang Yongzhen's team completed the task on January 5. However, Zhang's exclusive interview with


magazine showed that Zhang had uploaded the completed genomic sequence on January 5 to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Caixin's report about a confidential "gag order" by the National Health Commission was also criticized for omitting information.

FAIR also pointed out the double standards in U.S. media reports on revising the criteria to count new COVID-19 cases upon getting further information and improved testing capacity in real-time.

For example, in late February, CNN reported that China had already revised its methodology of counting new cases three times to broaden their case definition to include more cases, not fewer. FAIR stressed that China was not the only country that revised the counting method and questioned why CNN would single out China and framed it as a cover-up.

Instead of the conventional narrative of blaming China, U.S. media should pay attention to analyzing "why the U.S. pandemic response has been exceptionally bad" and why U.S. imperialism is preventing cooperation with China and the rest of the world.